Scottish Golf, the new unified governing body for the sport in Scotland, has teed off its first day by securing a major sponsorship deal with Aberdeen Asset Management as the organisation unveiled its new look.
At an historic day in St Andrews, the new body – an amalgamation of the Scottish Golf Union (SGU) and the Scottish Ladies’ Golfing Association (SLGA) – was launched in the company of a number of Scotland’s leading tour professionals and amateurs, joined by local youngsters from the ClubGolf programme.
Aberdeen Asset Management global golf ambassadors, former Open champion Paul Lawrie, Scotland’s highest-ranked player Marc Warren and Ladies European Tour duo Pamela Pretswell and Carly Booth, teamed up with Walker Cup star Ewen Ferguson and last year’s Scottish Ladies Amateur champion, Gabrielle Macdonald, to celebrate the occasion.
At a sun-drenched West Sands beach, where the new brand identity was unveiled and 607 balloons released to represent the number of affiliated clubs in Scotland, new Chair, Eleanor Cannon, and Aberdeen Asset Management Chief Executive, Martin Gilbert, were also in attendance to announce the team sponsorship deal.
Scottish Golf begins a new chapter for the game – the SLGA was founded in 1904 and the SGU in 1920 – and will represent golfers and golf clubs to champion the game in Scotland, reflected by Scottish Golf’s current Twitter campaign #WholeInOne
The new body offers the opportunity for Scottish Golf to grow and prosper, through strengthening and supporting affiliated clubs, creating winning golfers, staging outstanding events for golfers of all ages and abilities and inspiring more people – both young and old – to enjoy the game for life.
“This is an historic and special day for Scottish Golf,” said Cannon. “I believe that the coming together of the two governing bodies will be a tremendous, positive step for the game of golf in Scotland.
“It will open up further opportunities in terms of driving membership and growing the game from a family perspective, where people are perceived to be players and members, and not identified by their gender all the time.
“I also believe more funding opportunities will be available to us in the public and private sector, given the values of the game, the family sport it is and the skills and values it instils in young and old alike. We all have the opportunity to work as a new organisation to take golf in Scotland forward into an exciting new era.”
Aberdeen Asset Management’s latest commitment highlights the improved commercial opportunities for Scottish Golf, with the global investment group continuing to back Scotland’s leading amateur golfers through a new two-year agreement, with funding to support the national teams at men’s, ladies, boys and girls level.
The partnership between Scottish Golf and Aberdeen Asset Management will see the players wearing the sponsors’ logo on their national apparel and bags through to the end of 2017.
“Aberdeen Asset Management is delighted to be the first sponsor of the new Scottish Golf organisation and continue our investment in the country’s leading amateur golfers,” said Gilbert, speaking at the Macdonald Rusacks Hotel in St Andrews.
“The partnership is very important to us and we hope our support can continue to deliver success for Scotland’s national golf teams, building on their recent achievements at home and internationally.
“Having a single governing body for Scottish golf was a major factor in extending our sponsorship and we are proud to play a part in this very special day for the sport in Scotland.”
Aberdeen Asset Management – who will remain a key partner for next year’s Scottish Golf Awards in sponsoring the Player of the Year Award – became the SGU’s first national team sponsors in 2007.
In addition to Paul Lawrie, Marc Warren, Carly Booth and Pamela Pretswell, Aberdeen Asset Management is also title sponsor of the Scottish Open and Scottish Ladies Open, as well as a number of other tour professionals, including US-based players Russell Knox and Martin Laird.
Scottish Golf www.scottishgolf.org